On their second night of a back-to-back, the Charlotte Hornets got taken down by Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics, 115-101. Tatum dropped 44 points, with 16 of them coming in the fourth quarter alone.
The Hornets kept things close for the majority of the night, but it was their turnovers that ended up doing them in. They finished with 16 on the night, 12 of which came in the first half.
It was this sloppiness that played the biggest part in their loss, according to head coach James Borrego. According to him, while Charlotte had the right idea, they simply didn’t execute well enough.
“A lot of it is our offense. I think we had 10 turnovers there early. The young fella had a couple, and it costs us going the other way. So, just gotta keep making the right reads, keep sharing it. I think the intention was there, the execution was poor.”
“The young fella” likely refers to point guard LaMelo Ball, who recorded six first-half turnovers of his own. Of those six turnovers, three were errant passes intercepted by the Celtics.
Looking at Charlotte’s loss against the Brooklyn Nets, too, they have combined for 31 turnovers in their last two games. Borrego was asked about this issue postgame, and he chalked it up to two things - good defenses and poor decision-making.
“I’d say, overall, good defenses. This is probably the best defense in the NBA right now. They’re active, they’re long, they’re switching. Guys are trying to make the right reads, but obviously, we’re not executing that extremely well. These are good defenses. We just got to be better in our decision-making.”
But while the turnovers were a killer, it was Tatum’s elite offensive game that really ended Charlotte’s night. When asked about the three-time All-Star’s play, Borrego said that he thought the Hornets defended him well. Tatum simply made a lot of tough looks.
“To me, it looked like a number of contested shots. He hits six threes again tonight. So six free throws, 6-for-6, six threes, highly contested threes. We double-teamed him, we trapped him. He’s a hell of a player, he’s playing as well as anybody right now.”
Charlotte remains tied with the Atlanta Hawks for ninth in the Eastern Conference. They’ll have a chance to get back on track on Thursday night when they take on CJ McCollum and the new-look New Orleans Pelicans. That game tips off at 8:00 p.m.